THE BOOK OF ELI Review. [Bloody Good Post-Apocalyptic]

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Directed by Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes, 2010
Written by Gary Whitta

I’m an easy sell on a lot of things and I have a lot of soft spots.  Horror movies shot entirely in daylight…movies set in a single location…movies starring Lance Henriksen…Syfy Original Movies… all of these start off with a halo in my book.  That said, I think the softest niche spot I have is for the post-apocalypse.  However, unlike the other qualities I just listed, I am not an easy sell on post-apocalyptic movies.  Sure, I’ll see a PA film solely because of its end of the world nature, but that gives it no edge in critical favor.

The trailers for THE BOOK OF ELI did nothing for me.  It looked like an over-stylized yet still monotone vision of the future banking on Denzel Washington’s inherently badass attitude and a number of quickly cut together action scenes.  Plus, it’s been 8 years since the Hughes Brothers made a movie, so buzzing the production as the latest film from the Hughes Brothers is meaningless to me.  It is with great relief, then, that I’m happy to report, to my own surprise, I liked THE BOOK OF ELI.  Truth is, I almost even loved it.

Don’t let the marketing fool you.  The Hughes Brothers have delivered a unique meditation on life after the end of times that does its best to be the polar opposite of everything the trailer looked like.  Denzel Washington plays the titular character (Eli, not the book), a man who has dedicated his life to walking west on a mission, a mission I will be touching upon below.  I’m not going to be spoiling anything huge (or non-obvious), but if you know next to nothing about THE BOOK OF ELI and want to keep it that way, I leave you here with a simple verdict: Yes, it’s worth a trip to the theater.

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